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News

Conflict management experts aim to reduce workplace abuse

Maybo : 24 September, 2008  (Company News)
Maybo and victim support launch joint initiative to combat workplace violence and abuse induced stress
Over 10% of suicides are related to violence and abuse at work, according to Swedish research. Similarly a Danish study demonstrates a close correlation between workplace violence and depression amongst staff. To make matters worse for the UK it has one of the worst records in Europe for return of employees to work after long term illness/injury.

Reducing this drain on the UK economy and individuals is behind an initiative by Victim Support, the charity that supports victims of crime, and Maybo, the UK's leading conflict management adviser. They are launching a post incident programme that gives managers an understanding of how their actions, and those of other staff, before, during and after an incident can have a fundamental affect on the victim.

Bill Fox, developer of the programme for Maybo says: "There is no substitute for immediate empathetic practical support provided by managers and colleagues, and organisations need to be prepared in how to do this effectively for individuals."

Also there is a correlation between low level violence and stress. Incidents of verbal abuse and threats are more common, yet less likely to be reported and can, in some circumstances, be just as harmful as a physical attack. The cumulative effect of persistent verbal abuse and minor acts of violence are likely to have a lasting impact on psychological wellbeing.

Fox explains: "At an organisational level there should be recognition that trauma reactions will vary over the short, mid and longer term. The organisational response should include clear accountability for managing absence and rehabilitation back to work. If senior managers ignore known risks or specific threats to staff they could find themselves in grave difficulty in relation to the Corporate Manslaughter Act and widening Health and Safety legislation.

"If a person expresses some anxiety or doubts about his or her ability to cope then a range of options can be considered to suit the needs of the individual and the work situation," he says.

Whatever the line of work, it makes sense for individuals and the business to understand the effects of violence and what can be done to avoid losing skilled workers and a damaging legacy.
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